May 11, 2006 Subject:
This is a recreation of radio fireside Chat 6, Sunday Sept. 30, 1934
In this newsreel, FDR reads an edited version of his fireside chat from Sunday, Sept 30, 1934.
The actual newsreel title, "Roosevelt to ask ban on strikes," is a bit misleading. While the speech was given in the context of massive strikes, the actual text of FDR's speech focuses on government's role in negotiating between labor and business. FDR's here refuses to accept permanent unemployment as a cost of doing business in America.
"I propose to confer within the coming month with small groups of those truly representative of large employers of labor and of large groups of organized labor, in order to seek their cooperation in establishing what I may describe as a specific trial period of industrial peace.
Some people try to tell me that we must make up our minds that for the future we shall permanently have millions of unemployed just as other countries have had them for over a decade. What may be necessary for those other countries is not my responsibility to determine. But as for this country, I stand or fall by my refusal to accept as a necessary condition of our future a permanent army of unemployed. I do not want to think that it is the destiny of any American to remain permanently on relief rolls.
In our efforts for recovery we have avoided on the one hand the theory that business should and must be taken over into an all-embracing Government. We have avoided on the other hand the equally untenable theory that it is an interference with liberty to offer reasonable help when private enterprise is in need. I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few. I prefer that broader definition of Liberty under which we are moving forward to greater freedom, to greater security for the average man than he has ever known before in the history of America."
All in all, an important chance to understand FDR's Liberalism, his rhetorical style, and his willingness to "stand or fall" by his clearly articulated principles. No spin here. Love him or go go back to Hoover. Your choice.